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What Makes a Highway? Noticing the Details

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on July 27, 2021

Empty highway at sunsetHow a highway is made matters. Design has a lot to do with the efficiency of traffic and the safety of drivers and passengers while they’re out on the road. In fact, it is only when you take a close look at road design that the importance of these details comes to light.

Whether it involves bad lighting, weak bridges, defective guardrails, or other issues, poor highway design may be to blame in the event of a serious car accident.

Hidden Dangers of Highway Design

You probably haven’t given much thought to the careful planning and design choices that go into making a road. It is only when a bad choice in design, construction, or maintenance creates an unsafe driving experience that these details tend to stand out — for the wrong reasons.

Here are some common problems with our Arizona roads:

  • Defective traffic lights and signals. Traffic lights direct thousands of vehicles a day in a safe and orderly fashion. If a traffic light fails, or switches too quickly, it can create chaos on the road, which can lead to confused drivers and possible accidents.
  • Poor visibility. Highways must be designed in a way so that each driver has a clear view of the road ahead and other surrounding vehicles. Drivers must be able to plan the right course of action while operating a vehicle, such as when to turn and when to slow down, which would be difficult with poor levels of visibility. Blind turns should be clearly marked so no one attempts them without traffic lights.
  • Lack of guardrails. Guardrails are an essential part of many highways since they are often elevated above the ground. Guardrails also serve as visual reminders to stay in your lane. If a city fails to install proper guardrails, it can result in vehicles veering off the road.
  • Poor signage. Drivers must be alert at all times and notified of upcoming curves, exit ramps, and other changes in the road. Even the most diligent drivers cannot properly operate a vehicle if there is a lack of visible signage along the road.
  • Potholes and other types of wear and tear. Like any structure, highways experience a lot of wear and tear over time. Potholes and other possible damage may emerge after a lot of heavy traffic has run along the road.
  • Improper lane markings. It is imperative that each vehicle stay in its lane while traveling out on the highway. If lane markers are worn away or confusing (usually, by being repainted over old makers), they can cause preventable crashes and seriously injure people.
  • Hazardous bridges and overpasses. Bridges and overpasses must be built to withstand the weight of multiple vehicles at once. Any defects noticed on these structures should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent bridge collapses.
  • Unsafe curves. Sudden curves made in the road with no warning signs may cause an accident. Drivers must be given a warning and time to properly slow down for any upcoming curves, as failing to do so may result in veering off the road or colliding with other vehicles.
  • Construction work. Construction must be done to properly repair or redesign any part of the highway. Drivers must be made aware of these construction projects, which should be properly blocked off from moving vehicles.

What Can You Do If Design Played a Part in Your Accident?

Since designing and repairing highways is the responsibility of government officials, usually the city or county public works department, filing a personal injury claim can be more complex. Some government entities are given legal immunity from lawsuits, unless you can prove that they neglected to fix a highway defect or design flaw. At The Husband & Wife Law Team, our skilled team of Phoenix highway accident attorneys will work with you to negotiate for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today at (602) 457-6222 for a free consultation.

Posted in: Auto Accident

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